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Job Analysis Methods

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Everything you need to know about the job analysis methods. Job analysis, is the process of determining and recording all the pertinent information about a specific job, including the tasks involved, the knowledge and skill set required to perform the job, the responsibilities attached to the job and the abilities required to perform the job successfully.

Job analysis differentiates one job from the other, in an organisation, and is based on observation and study. It is also referred to as job review or job classification. Job analysis provides the basic foundation for many of the HR activities.

Though there are several methods of collecting job analysis information yet choosing the one or a combination of more than one method depends upon the needs and requirements of organization and the objectives of the job analysis process.

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Typically, all the methods focus on collecting the basic job-related information but when used in combination may bring out the hidden or overlooked information and prove to be great tools for creating a perfect job-candidate fit.

The various methods of job analysis are as follows:-

1. Observation Method 2. Interview Method 3. Daily Method 4. Technical Conference Method 5. Functional Job Analysis (FJA) 6. Questionnaire Method

7. Job Inventories or Checklists 8. Job Performance Method 9. Individual Psychographic Method 10. Job Psychographic Method 11. Job Analysis by Test 12. Motion Study Method

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13. Employee Job Diary 14. Conference of Experts 15. Combination of Methods 16. Competency Profiling Method 17. Reference Materials Method 18. Critical Incident Method and 19. Group Interview Method.


Methods of Job Analysis: Interview Method, Questionnaire Method, Conference Method, Group Interview Method and Few Others

Job Analysis Methods – Top 8 Methods: Observation Method, Interview Method, Daily Method, Conference Method, Questionnaire Method and a Few Others

Job analysis, is the process of determining and recording all the pertinent information about a specific job, including the tasks involved, the knowledge and skill set required to perform the job, the responsibilities attached to the job and the abilities required to perform the job successfully. Job analysis differentiates one job from the other, in an organisation, and is based on observation and study. It is also referred to as job review or job classification. Job analysis provides the basic foundation for many of the HR activities.

The analysis involves compiling a detailed description of tasks, determining the relationship of the job to technology and to other jobs and examining the knowledge, qualifications or employment standards, accountabilities and other incumbent requirements. In short, job analysis is a recording of all the activities involved in a job and the skill and knowledge requirements of the performer of the job.

Job analysis provides the necessary inputs for a number of HR activities like recruitment, selection, job design, estimating job worth, training, and appraisal. These activities depends on job analysis and its end products for their own functioning. For example, job description and job specification-the end products of a job analysis – form the basis for recruitment.

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They help in evaluating a candidate against the requirements of the job and selecting the most suitable one. Similarly, job analysis provides inputs for training. While training employees for a particular position, the parameters on which the employees need to be trained can be obtained from job analysis. Job analysis also helps management in evaluating the relative worth of each job, which would be one of the basic inputs in designing the compensation system.

Job analysis plays a key role in designing and managing the performance appraisal system in an organisation. It helps in identifying the key responsibility areas (KRAs) for a position and then setting the goals or objectives for the appraisal period. This forms the basis for the evaluation of an employee’s performance.

A comparison of the job specifications arrived at, at the end of a job analysis, with the existing competencies of an employee, helps in identifying his training needs. Thus, job analysis contributes either directly, or indirectly, to almost all the fields of human resource management.

The various methods of job analysis are as follows:

1. Observation Method:

Three methods of Job Analysis are based on observation. These are- Direct Observation; Work Method Analysis, including time and motion studies and micro-motion analysis; and critical incident method.

2. Interview Method:

It involves discussions between job analysis and job occupants or experts. Job analysis data from individual and group interviews with employees are often supplemented by information from supervisors of employees whose jobs are to be analysed.

3. Daily Method:

It requires the job holders to record in details their activities on a daily basis.

4. Technical Conference Method:

In this method, services of the supervisors who possess extensive knowledge about a job are used with the help of a conference of the supervisors. The analyst initiates discussion which provides details about the job.

5. Functional Job Analysis (FJA):

It is a method that uses precise terminology and a structured job analysis “schedule” to record information regarding the job content. It is especially useful to the recruiting and selection functions.

6. Questionnaire Method:

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These can be filled out by the employees on an individual basis or by job analysts for a group of employees.

7. Job Inventories or Checklists:

These are structured questionnaires that require a respondent to check or rate behaviour and/or worker character necessary to a particular job or occupation. Job inventories can either be Task/Job Oriented or Qualifications/Worker oriented.

8. Job Performance Method:

In this method the job analyst actually performs the job in question and thus receives 1st hand experiences of contextual factors on the job including physical hazards, social demands, and emotional pressures mental requirements.


Job Analysis Methods – Survey Method, Interview Method, Observation Method, Record Method, Job Psychographic Method, Job Analysis by Test and a Few Others

1. Questionnaire or Survey Method:

In this method a questionnaire is prepared to get the job information and it is circulated among all job holders. The questionnaire asks the job holder to supply the several types of information sought in job analysis. It may, in addition, ask the immediate supervisor to examine and comment on the replies provided by the job holders.

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No single questionnaire is appropriate for all types of jobs. However, most of them follow an outline that first identifies the job, seeks information on the principal tasks involved and then ask questions design to discover the mental skill and physical requirements of a satisfactory job holder.

2. Interview Method:

In this method the job analyst interviews the job holders and asks questions from them while observing the following rules:

(i) Interview should be taken in leisure time.

(ii) Job analyst must introduce himself to the job holder first and tell him the purpose of the interview.

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(iii) Job analyst must take an interest in job holder and his work.

(iv) He must concentrate on the job and not on the HR matters.

(v) The job holder should be motivated to speak more.

(vi) As far as possible, the atmosphere of interview must remain congenial and conversation must be held in the language of the job holder.

(vii) An average job holder should be selected for interview. The information will not be useful if the best job holder is contacted.

3. Observation Method:

Here the job analyst observes the work and worker while the worker is involved with the work. An experienced and expert analyst combines interviewing and on-the-job observation to provide a more accurate analysis than is usually secured by the use of either one of the methods.

4. Record Method:

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Various types of job information are collected from the old records of the HR department.

The job analyst goes through the records and notes the relevant aspects of job details.

5. Individual Psychographic Method:

In this method, the mental peculiarities of an individual successful in a particular kind of job are examined, and a list of these peculiarities is compiled. This list is transcribed in a graph. This provides some standard of judgement in future recruitments for the same job.

6. Job Psychographic Method:

According to Viteles, the following three things are essential for the job psychographic method:

(i) Accurate classification of mental qualities required for the job.

(ii) Valid method of evaluation.

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(iii) Direct examination or analysis by trained examiners. In this method, some specialist analysts study the work, and they evolve a valid and standard method of evaluation. They prepare a very accurate list in which the various mental qualities required for the job are properly and reliably classified. A graph of these qualities is prepared so that selection of candidates for the job may become easier.

7. Job Analysis by Test:

In the test method, some reliable and valid tests are performed on the basis of essential qualities and abilities; the candidates are tested for selection and suitability on the basis of these tests.

8. Motion Study Method:

Under this method, the speed of an individual worker in performing some job and time consumed therein are both noted. Similar examinations being performed on other individuals doing the same work, and the results obtained are compared. Such a study of speed and time helps in job analysis and classification of the workers.


Job Analysis Methods – 7 Important Methods Used to Collect Information about Jobs: Personal Observation, Interview, Employee Diary, Job Performance and a Few Others

A number of methods are used to collect information about jobs.

Method # 1. Personal Observation:

The job analyst actually observes the work being performed by workers and records his or her observations in the following manners; what the work accomplishes, what equipment is used, what the work environment is like, and any other relevant factor to the job.

Method # 2. Interview:

The understanding of the job may also be gained through interviewing both the supervisor and the employee as either an individual or a group setting. Face to face interviews are an effective way to collect job information, because the job holders are most familiar with the job. This method can provide information about standard as well as non­standard activities of the job and can supplement the information obtained through personal observation.

Method # 3. Employee Diary:

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In this method, the employee describe their daily work activities in a diary or log. After analyzing the diary or log over a specified period of time, a job analyst is able to record the essential characteristics of a job. This method does not give any desirable data on supervisor’s relationship, the equipment used and working conditions. Maintaining logs are time consuming and costly.

Method # 4. Job Performance:

With this approach, the job analyst actually performs the job and to gets first hand exposure. The job analyst gets an actual feel of job as well as the physical, environmental and social demands of the job. This method is not suitable for the jobs that are hazardous in nature and quite inappropriate for jobs that require extensive training.

Method # 5. Questionnaire:

The job analyst administers a structured questionnaire to employees who then identify the tasks they perform in accomplishing the job. After completion, the questionnaire are handed over to supervisors. The supervisor is supposed to discuss any errors in the employee’s response with him make corrections and then questionnaire is given to the job analyst.

The structured questionnaire must cover all job related aspects such as tasks and behaviours. This method is less time consuming and economical to use but framing the questionnaires are not an easy tasks.

Method # 6. Conference of Experts:

This method utilizes senior job holders and supervisors with extensive knowledge of the job. The interaction with the members during the interview adds insight and details that the analyst might not get from individual job holders.

Method # 7. Combination:

Generally, an analyst does not use one job analysis method exclusively, rather, a combination is often used. For instance, in analysing clerical and administrative jobs, the analyst might use questionnaire supported by interviews and limited observation. On the other hand for production, jobs interviews supplemented by a greater degree of work observation may provide the needed data. Combination of methods can ensure high accuracy at minimum costs.


Job Analysis Methods – Methods Used for Collection of Data

Job analyst collects data in respect of the duties, responsibilities and activities of the job from the different people e.g., employees in the job, supervisor, and peers. Various methods/techniques are used for collection of data.

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These are:

1. Interview method

2. ‘Study and observe’ method

3. Self-performance method

4. Employee’s Job Diary

5. Questionnaire method

6. Conference method.

1. Interview Method:

Job information is collected through interview. Under the interview method questions are asked and replies are recorded for analysis.

Interviews are:

i. Individual interviews with individual employee

ii. Group interviews with individual supervisor or group of supervisors are asked during interview.

For collecting information from the interviewee questions like:

a. What is done?

b. Why is it done?

c. How is it done?

d. When is it done?

e. To what is it done?

Questions are structured in such a way that the interviewee supplies all information about the job activities performed by him, as also characteristics of the job to the job analyst.

Interview method is very easy to use for collection of information. Generally, employees like to respond to questions made by those people who are very much interested to know their job activities, working conditions, hazards etc. Through well designed and effective interview job analyst may come to know some new area of activities / behaviour which may help him to arrive at some conclusion.

Job analyst may get complete information at a short time from the employees, as they use this platform to elicit their difficulties, hardship etc. to others. Interview method is very much expensive.

In large organizations it is difficult to use, to collect information. Employees may not give actual information / data to job analyst as they feel these data will be used for determining their pay rates and fringe benefits. Collecting information through interview method needs extra skill and ability of job analyst. Interview results are difficult to analyse.

2. Study and Observation Method:

The another method of collecting information for job analysis is through study and observation of the job people do.

This method involves:

i. Watching of the whole process of job activities and time taken to complete each process and also the entire process

ii. Observance of situation, conditions under which an employee works

iii. Study of responsibilities shouldered by the employee

iv. Review of job performance of employee through films

v. Watching of the materials, tools used to perform job.

This method is effective when jobs involve physical activities that are measurable. Job analyst gets thorough idea regarding the jobs employees perform. So job performance information becomes correct and accurate. This method yields reliable results as the data are collected through direct observation. Collection of data is very easy as it does not need extra skill, ability of the analyst.

This method is not free from limitations. It becomes unreliable and ineffective when jobs consist of immeasurable mental activity (that means jobs need mental work, decision making, judgemental activity, planning, directing, controlling etc.)

In some cases, job performance information may not be correct as constant watch of analyst over a job may create such situation where employees cannot function freely and properly. It requires much time to complete the information collection exercise especially, in cases when employees occasionally need to perform some work.

3. Self-Performance Method:

Under this method, job analyst engages himself to perform a job and records information. The approach of this method is like ‘perform job and obtain information’. Job analyst through performance of job gets understanding of –

i. The whole process of activity i.e. job cycle

ii. Time taken to complete some activity

iii. The hazards and difficulties faced to perform job

iv. The working environment, machines, tools used, supervision needed

v. Skill, ability, knowledge required to complete the job.

This method is effective for job analysis when jobs are very simple and are easy to perform. But this method does not yield results if, the jobs are technical in nature and are difficult to perform without training. The scope of use of this method is limited.

4. Employee’s Job Diary:

Another technique to collect information on job is to use diary maintained by the employees to record their day to day activities in their work performance.

This method has the following characteristics:

(i) Each employee is given a diary to keep records of his daily activities

(ii) At the end of each work shift, the employee starts writing on the diary – (a) all the activities he had undertaken that day (b) the time taken for completion of any process of activity (c) difficulties, problems if he had faced to perform his job.

(iii) Job diary needs to be maintained for a long period so that all activities are covered.

(iv) Information recorded by the employee in the diary are verified / checked by the concerned supervisor to ensure that factual data are taken.

This method is simple to use as it does not need extra skill, ability to record information. Since, employee himself writes diary it is possible that all job performance information are recorded.

Diary method is time consuming as it takes much time to collect information for job analysis. The employee may not remember the job activities at the end of work shift when he records in the diary. So, the data is based on assumption the employee holds.

5. Questionnaire Method:

This is one of the methods used by organization to collect job information. Under this method job related questions are prepared and employees are asked to reply to the questions. This method is very much popular to gather information concerning job related duties and responsibilities of employees.

Questionnaires are of two types—structured questionnaire and open ended (unstructured) questionnaire. In case of structured questionnaire a long list of possible task items is designed and sent to employees with the request to indicate whether or not they perform the tasks as mentioned in the questionnaire and if so, how much time is taken to perform each task?

Open ended (unstructured) questionnaire is very simple that asks the employees to describe something in respect of their job related duties, responsibilities etc. The question may be like ‘state the major duties you perform’.

The specially designed questionnaires are sent to employees who submit them to supervisors after duly completed/filled out. Supervisors after verification, consultation with concerned employees, if need arises, give those questionnaires to the job analyst.

The questionnaire method is easy to use for collection of job information. Coverage of population under this method is wide. Questionnaires are sent to a large number of employees. So, it is a speedy and excellent way for gathering information at a shorter period of time. Cost wise this method is cheap for collection of information.

The method is not free from limitations. Designing questionnaire (i.e., area coverage, type and number of questions to be asked for etc.) needs special skill. Employees may take it casually to fill out questionnaires and to return them.

Generally, employees avoid to submit information in writing that may be due to their inability to express or due to their unwillingness to respond to the questions mentioned in the questionnaire. The preparation of questionnaire is also expensive and time consuming.

6. Conference Method:

This is one of the methods of collecting information for job analysis. Under this method job analyst gathers information relating to job of employees through experienced and knowledgeable supervisors.

Conference method includes the following activities:

i. Selection of areas, subject matter over which questions will be asked to supervisors

ii. Deciding on number of questions to be asked, design of questions whether open-ended or structured questions

iii. Structure of time for completion of interview with supervisor.

This method yields results if supervisors are effective, competent, experienced and have a great depth of knowledge on subordinates’ job. Collection of job information through this method is time consuming and expensive.


Job Analysis Methods – 2 Most Important Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative Methods

The determination of job tasks, the concomitant skills and abilities necessary for successful performance, and the responsibilities inherent in the job can be obtained through the following methods-

1. Qualitative Methods:

(i) Personal Observation Method:

The most reliable and practical technique for obtaining the information in relation to the job is through the direct observation of the work performed coupled with the discussion with the supervisor of the job.

The materials and equipment used, the working conditions and probable hazards, and an understanding of what the work involves are facts which should be known by an analyst. Direct observation is especially useful in jobs that consist primarily of observable physical ability like the jobs of draftsman, mechanic, spinner, or weaver.

(ii) Questionnaire Method:

In this method, the questionnaire is prepared by the job analyst and distributed among the workers. The questions are answered by the workers to the best of their knowledge and belief. This method is usually employed by engineering consultants. Properly drafted questionnaires are sent out to the job holders for completion and are returned to supervisors.

The idea of issuing questionnaires is to elicit the necessary information from the job holders so that any error may first be discussed with the employee and after due corrections may be submitted to the job analyst.

(iii) Personal Interviews:

Personal interviews may be held by the employees and answers to the relevant questions may be recorded. But this method is relatively time consuming and costly. This method is a prime method used by the job analyst for data collection. The job analyst contacts the workers and the supervisors concerned and asks questions regarding the various jobs performed by them for collecting the relevant information.

(iv) Record:

In this method, the employee is asked to maintain the daily diary record of duties he performs, stating the time at which each task is started and finished. But this method is incomplete, because it does not give the desirable data on supervisor relationship, equipment used and the working conditions. This record is also maintained by the personnel department regarding the job holders. The analyst collects this information from the record maintained by the personnel department.

(v) Job Performance:

In this method, the job is actually performed by the job analyst for obtaining first-hand experience in relation to the actual tastes, physical and social demand, and the working environment of the job. This method can be used only for jobs where skill requirements are low and can therefore, be learnt quickly and easily.

2. Quantitative Methods:

(i) Position Analysis Questionnaire (PAQ):

It is a structured job analysis questionnaire. The PAQ is filled by the job analyst. It contains 194 items, each of which represents an important component of the job. The job analyst decides whether each item plays a role on the job and if so to what extent.

Advantages of PAQ:

(a) It classifies the jobs.

(b) It provides a quantitative score or the profile of the job.

(c) The results of PAQ can be used to compare one job with the other.

(d) PAQ is also used for the fixation of pay levels.

Disadvantages of PAQ:

(a) It is time-consuming.

(b) It involves a complicated analysis on the part of job analyst.

(ii) Management Position Description Questionnaire (MPDQ):

It is a standardised instrument which is specifically designed for the use in the analysis of managerial jobs. Its questionnaire consists of 15 sections including 274 items. In this method, the respondents have to respond on the importance of each item to the position.

The management description factors include:

(a) Internal Business Control

(b) Public and Customer Relations

(c) Staff Service

(d) Supervision

(e) Broad Personnel Responsibility

(f) Complexity and Stress

(g) Approval of Financial Commitments

(h) Autonomy of Actions

(i) Advanced Consulting

(j) Product, Marketing, and Financial Strategy Planning

(k) Coordination of Other Organisational Units and Personnel

(l) Products and Service Responsibility

(iii) Functional Job Analysis:

This approach of job analysis is worker oriented. The functional job analysis approach attempts to describe the whole person on the job. It examines three fundamental components of ‘data, people, and things’.

The four main dimensions which are rated under this method are:

(a) The language and verbal facilities required to perform the job.

(b) The mathematical ability required to perform the job.

(c) The extent to which specific instructions are necessary to perform the job.

(d) The extent to which judgement and reasoning are required to perform the job.

This method is used frequently for government jobs. It provides a quantitative score of each as a function of its complexity in relationship with people, data, and things.


Job Analysis Methods – Common Techniques/Methods Employed by Management for Analysis of Jobs

Though there are several methods of collecting job analysis information yet choosing the one or a combination of more than one method depends upon the needs and requirements of organization and the objectives of the job analysis process. Typically, all the methods focus on collecting the basic job-related information but when used in combination may bring out the hidden or overlooked information and prove to be great tools for creating a perfect job-candidate fit.

Selecting an appropriate job analysis method depends on the structure of the organization, hierarchical levels, nature of job and responsibilities and duties involved in it. So, before executing any method, all advantages and disadvantages should be analyzed because the data collected through this process serves a great deal and helps organizations cope with current market trends, organizational changes, high attrition rate and many other day-to-day problems.

Some common techniques/methods employed by management are given below:

1. Observation Method:

A job analyst observes an employee and records all his performed and non-performed task, fulfilled and un-fulfilled responsibilities and duties, methods, ways and skills used by him or her to perform various duties and his or her mental or emotional ability to handle challenges and risks.

Merits & Demerits of Observation Method:

i. It is one of the easiest methods to analyse a specific job.

ii. The limitation is that every person has his own way of observing things.

iii. Different people think different and interpret the findings in different ways.

iv. Therefore, the process may involve personal likes and dislikes and may not produce genuine results.

v. This error can be avoided by proper training of job analyst or whoever will be conducting the job analysis process.

2. Interview Method:

In this method, an employee is interviewed so that he or she comes up with their own working styles, problems faced by them, use of particular skills and techniques while performing their job and insecurities and fears about their careers.

This method helps interviewer know what exactly an employee thinks about his or her own job and responsibilities involved in it. It involves analysis of job by employee himself/herself. In order to generate honest and true feedback or collect genuine data, questions asked during the interview should be carefully decided. And to avoid errors, it is always good to interview more than one individual to get a pool of responses. Then it can be generalized and used for the whole group.

Merits of Interview Method:

i. Interviewing is a flexible method for all levels and types of job. An interview may focus on what a hypothetical job might involve.

ii. Interviews generate descriptive data and enable job-holders to interpret their activities.

iii. A good interviewer can probe sensitive areas in more depth. Structured questionnaires cannot easily do this. Jobholders can give overviews of their work and offer their perceptions and feelings about their job and the environment.

Demerits of Interview Method:

i. Rigid questionnaires tend to be less effective where the more affective aspects of work are concerned.

ii. Information from different interviews can be hard to bring together there is potential for interviewer bias certain areas of the work may fail to be picked up an interview may stress one area and neglect others.

iii. Here are problems in interpretation and analysis with the possibility of distorted impressions the subjectivity of the data captured needs to be considered.

iv. Interviews are time consuming and training is needed.

3. Questionnaire Method:

Another commonly used job analysis method is getting the questionnaires filled from employees, their superiors and managers. However, this method also suffers from personal biases. A great care should be takes while framing questions for different grades of employees.

In order to get the true job-related info, management should effectively communicate it to the staff that data collected will be used for their own good. It is very important to ensure them that it won’t be used against them in anyway. If it is not done properly, it will be a sheer wastage of time, money and human resources.

Advantages of Questionnaires:

i. Questionnaires are cost-efficient.

ii. Questionnaires are also a practical way to gather data. They can be targeted to groups of your choosing and managed in various ways.

iii. Questionnaires bring Speedy results.

iv. Questionnaires and surveys allow the HR Manager to gather information from a large audience.

v. Most survey and questionnaire providers are quantitative in nature and allow an easy analysis of results.

vi. Questionnaires ensure User anonymity.

vii. When using mail-in, online or email questionnaires, there’s no time limit and Respondents can take their time to complete the question.

viii. Questionnaires cover all aspects of a topic.

Disadvantages of Questionnaires:

i. While there are many positives to questionnaires, dishonesty can be an issue. Respondents may not be 100 percent truthful with their answers.

ii. There is no way to know if the respondent has really thought the question through before answering.

iii. Without someone to explain the questionnaire fully and ensure each individual has the same understanding, results can be subjective.

iv. Respondents may also have trouble grasping the meaning of some questions that may seem clear to the creator. This miscommunication can lead to skewed results.

v. A survey or questionnaire cannot fully capture emotional responses or the feelings of the respondents.

vi. Some questions are difficult to analyse.

vii. As with any sort of research, bias can be an issue. Participants in your survey may have an interest the product, idea or service. Others may be influenced to participate based on the subject of the questionnaire.

viii. When using questionnaires, there is a chance that some questions will be ignored. If questions are not required, there is always that risk they will not be answered.

4. Work Methods Analysis:

The form of analysis on work methods is applicable to describe manual and repeated manufacturing jobs, for example the jobs of assembly-line. Such analysis on work methods consists of analysis of time, motion study and micro motion.

5. Task Inventory Method:

Indeed, a task inventory lists all discrete activities which create a certain job or certain company.

6. Job Element Method:

This style is somehow similar to the method of critical incident technique. The method concentrates on behaviors during working and such consequences that the behaviors bring about more than look at abstract characteristics. This method was developed by Ernest Prim off.

7. Diary Method:

The method of diary is considered to be a very useful tool to analyse jobs. In this method jobs are assessed thanks to workers’ daily records or their lists of activities that they practice day by day.

8. Checklists and Rating Scales:

In this method jobs are analysed by using a list keeping track of such job elements. Many questions can be raised, such as working purposes, key roles and responsibilities, organization; relationships; decision-making; authority; Skills, knowledge, experience; working conditions.

9. Competency Profiling Method:

This form of job analysis is an activity that determines certain capacities which are characteristics of high levels of performance in a certain job. It includes skills, knowledge, capacities, values, interests, personalities.

10. Examining Manuals/Reference Materials Method:

In analysing jobs, the analysts use manuals/or materials of reference including quality manual, human resource manual, procedures, instruction, forms, job description. These documents are available so that organizations can apply them in accordance with standards of ISO 9000.

11. Technical Conference Method:

This tool is of great usefulness in analyzing jobs based on Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). SMEs will implement sessions of brainstorming to discover elements of jobs. In this method, SMEs can apply a full mix of all methods of job analysis.


Job Analysis Methods – Top 10 Job Analysis Methods: Observation, Interview, Critical Incident, Group Interview, Structured Questionnaire, Check-List and a Few Others

Job analysis is a process that consumes more time. It is a tedious exercise collecting information to determine job elements, aptitudes and attitudes of an individual for a successful job performance.

Some of the important job analysis methods are given below:

1. Observation Method:

It is a job analysis technique in which employees are directly watched or films of workers on the job are reviewed and the data regarding the job collected. In this method the supervisors observe and gather information with regard to tasks, working conditions, etc., related to a job, while the employees are performing their job. This method is particularly suitable for analyzing manual and unskilled jobs. It may not be suitable for mental, analytical and technical jobs.

2. Interview Method:

The job is analyzed by interviewing every individual employee separately. It is a time consuming task. In this method the employees are selected and intensively and extensively interviewed to know more about every aspect of their job such as the problem and inconvenience they face while performing the job, desirable qualification, tech-know-how, training required, etc.

3. Critical Incident Method:

This method is used to gather information about a job based on the past experiences and critical incidents which are frequently or seldom experienced while performing the job. These incidents are analyzed in detail by the brainstorming technique. But, it requires more time and is dependent the analytical skill of the analysts.

4. Group Interview Method:

It is done like the individual interview method but more people are interviewed simultaneously. It creates an atmosphere for the interviewees to open up their minds and give information, share ideas, opinions, positive and negative aspects of the job. Sometimes, group dynamics may hinder its effectiveness.

5. Structured Questionnaire Method:

In this method a questionnaire is prepared which consist of questions/statements pertaining to job and the employees. The respondents are asked to put a tick mark against their choice or rate every item given therein. It is good method used widely for data collection.

6. Check-List Method:

In this method, the job is analyzed and necessary information regarding the job is collected by asking the employees some subjective questions in the form of ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ objective type questions. The job holder is asked to put a tick mark against his/her choice.

7. Video Tape Method:

While on the job-floor, during the course of performing the job, the employees are video graphed. These video tapes are used to assess the job. The advantage of this method is that it can be reviewed again and again whenever needed.

8. Review of Record Method:

The work and repair records which are maintained in the human resources department of the organization are used for job analysis. This method is not appreciated and it is defective and ineffective.

9. Conference Method:

The supervisors utilize this method to collect information. The experts share their expertise and interact with employee participants to gather information about the jobs they perform.

10. Diary or Work Log Record Method:

The job incumbents are given a diary and asked to write a brief account of their job activities they performed at the end of every day. It is a cost and time consuming method but it facilities collection of too much of information at the end in which most of them may not be pertaining to the job activities. It is better to use more than one method of job analysis to make it more effective.


Job Analysis Methods – Methods of Collecting Job Analysis Information: Questionnaire, Checklist, Participation, Critical Incidents, Self-Recording of Diary and a Few Others

The various methods of collecting job analysis information are as under:

Method # 1. Questionnaire:

Usually this method is used to gather information about jobs through a mail survey. The job incumbents who can easily express themselves in writing they are asked to provide data about their jobs in their own words. Hence, this method is, best suited to clerical workers.

But it is often a very time consuming the reason is questionnaires are sent by mail. The receipt of duly filled questionnaires from the respondents is quite often delayed and after obstructed against the process of analysing the data obtained in this manner using.

Method # 2. Checklist:

Under this method the worker is required to check the task that he performs from a long list of possible task statements. However, in order to prepare the checklist, extensive preliminary work is demanded in collecting appropriate task statements. While checklists are easy for the incumbent to respond to, they do not provide an integrated picture of the job in question. They are easily administered to large groups and are easy to tabulate.

Method # 3. Participation:

Under this method, the job analyst actually performs the job himself. By doing so he is able to gather first-hand information about what characteristics made up the job under investigation. This method has some limitations as it fairly good for simple jobs however, in case of complex jobs advance training of the analyst becomes mandatory. The method is also time-consuming and too costly.

Method # 4. Critical Incidents:

Under this method, the supervisor is asked to give instances of on-the-job behaviours of people which he considers to be important. Such instances can be both of good and bad on-the-job behaviour. The number of such instances can be as many as the supervisor can recall. These instances can provide information about critical aspects of the job. However, the shortcoming of the method is that it does not provide an integrated picture of the entire task.

Method # 5. Self-Recording of Diary:

Under this method, the job incumbent is asked to record his daily activities each day using certain type of logbook or diary. The method is good as it systematically collects a great deal of information about the nature of and the time spent on various activities during the day by each incumbent.

Although, it is too time-consuming and exhausting consequently the incumbent may start complaining that he has to spend more time in making entries in his diary than in doing his job. However, this method is particularly useful for high-level managerial jobs.

Method # 6. Technical Conference:

Under this method, information about the characteristics of the job is collected from the experts. They are usually the supervisors and not the actual job incumbents. One serious limitation of this method is that the experts may at times show poor knowledge about the job which they are not actually performing themselves and may give answers based upon their past experience.

Method # 7. Interview:

Under this method, a group of representative job incumbents are selected for extensive interview usually outside of the actual job situation. The interview of the candidates or interviewees may be carried out either individually or in a group to save time. The replies acquired from these are then combined into a single job description. This method though too expensive and time-consuming helps in getting a complete scenario of the job.

Method # 8. Observation:

This method can be followed right on the job. The analyst observes the incumbent as he performs his work and questions him to get the required data. Besides being slow and expensive this method also interferes with normal work operations.

However, it generally produces a good and complete job description. This method is particularly desirable where manual operations are prominent and where the work cycle is short. Working conditions and hazards can also be better explained when observed personally by the analyst.


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